Growing up in the village, I remember with nostalgia how we used to wake up early to look for mushroom. The chilly morning dew was none of our worries as long as we collected mushroom. Buying this commodity was unheard of and I would have laughed off anyone trying to sell it to me. Buying it was like buying air – its abundance then was like that of air. As kids we believed God used to drop it like manna in the night for us to pick it in the morning but things have changed now. Mushroom has become a scarce commodity prompting people to make deliberate efforts in growing them.

A sample of mushrooms

A sample of mushrooms

Now, mushroom farming is steadily gaining ground in Kenya after people realized that it is a potentially lucrative business venture in the region. “I wanted to try mushrooms after learning that they are profitable,” a farmer I had visited on his farm told. The uptake of this new agriculture venture in the country has been boosted by the huge demand in the big hotels. But as we take up these opportunities, we need to be cautious and undertake all the necessary preliminary preparations before making big investments. Just like any other business, there is need to carry out a feasibility study in your area of operation before starting it up.
Many institutions are supporting and promoting mushroom farming by providing trainings to farmers and youth groups who would like to venture into mushroom farming. Such groupings are also eligible to get funding from financial institutions as a start up capital. Such an institution supporting mushroom farming is Pwani University where a former agriculture officer is currently an assistant farm manager in charge of mushroom production.

Kids won’t have to wake up in the morning in order to search for mushroom anymore as i used to do.

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